| For Immediate Release
October 4, 2004
California NAACP Endorses Proposition 71
(Los Angeles, CA) —The California State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has endorsed a YES vote on Proposition 71, the California Stem Cell Research and Cures initiative on this November’s ballot, becoming one of the most prominent African-American groups among a broad coalition that includes patient advocacy medical, and business organizations.
Prop. 71 will support stem cell research at California hospitals, medical schools and universities, to develop life-saving therapies and cures for diseases that could save the lives of millions of California children and adults. The measure also has potential to greatly lower the state’s health care costs and provide a boost to regional economies and the state at large.
“Stem cell research holds the key to unlocking and curing the most devastating diseases of our generation,” said California State NAACP President Alice Huffman. “This research has the potential to help African American families who suffer disproportionately from diabetes, heart disease and sickle cell anemia. By providing crucial funding, Proposition 71 is a decisive and proactive step toward treatments that will improve the lives of African-Americans, minorities and all Californians.”
As the State’s oldest and most effective civil rights organization in the country, the California NAACP ensures the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority groups and citizens; achieves equality of rights and eliminates race prejudice; removes all barriers of racial discrimination through the democratic processes; seeks to enact and enforce federal, state, and local laws securing civil rights; informs the public of the adverse effects of racial discrimination and seeks its elimination; and educates persons as to their constitutional rights and to take all lawful action in furtherance of these principles.
“As an organization with a long history of social and political advocacy, the NAACP proudly endorses this effort and encourages all Californians to vote Yes on Proposition 71,” Huffman said.
She added, “Prop. 71 has enormous potential to save lives, create jobs, and lower health care costs for everyone in our state, and will benefit society for decades to come.”
Scientists believe that stem cell research has the promise to treat a multitude of debilitating diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, ALS, sickle cell anemia, and spinal cord injuries, and more than 70 other conditions in total. These diseases and injuries affect 128 million Americans, including a child or adult in nearly half of all California families.
California currently spends over $110 billion each year – more than any other state – on health care spending costs. Prop. 71 has the potential to reduce these skyrocketing costs. A recent economic study found that if the measure leads to new cures that reduce our health care costs by only one percent, Prop. 71 would more than pay for itself.
Prop. 71 furthermore invests in California’s local economies and would
provide a much-needed economic boost throughout the state. Under the initiative,
California will benefit from new research and construction jobs, new tax revenues
generated by these jobs, as well as patents and royalties that result from
In endorsing Prop. 71, the California NAACP joins a long list of political advocacy groups and leaders who cite its benefits for their communities and the state. The broad and diverse coalition of grassroots supporters includes over 20 Nobel Prize-winning scientists and medical experts, state and local elected officials, faith-based organizations, families involved in patient advocacy and efforts to cure diseases, and organizations and individuals who advocate for the African American community including National Medical Association, Diabetic Amputation Prevention Foundation (and its President Dr. Bill Releford), Alzheimer’s Association California Council, California Medical Association, American Nurses Association of California, American Diabetes Association, Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Sickle Cell Disease Foundation of California, ALS Therapy Development Foundation, Parkinson’s Action Network, California Congress of Seniors, the National Coalition for Cancer Research, Dr. Keith Black of Cedars-Sinai Health System, Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke, Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald, Speaker Emeritus of the California Assembly Herb Wesson, Assemblymember Mervyn Dymally, and Los Angeles City Councilmembers Martin Ludlow, Bernard Parks and Jan Perry.
California’s business community has also voiced its support of Prop 71. Endorsers include top business organizations and leaders such as the California Black Chamber of Commerce, Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce, Operation Hope (and its President John Bryant), California Chamber of Commerce, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and San Diego Chamber of Commerce. State Controller Steve Westly, State Treasurer Phil Angelides, and Reagan advisor and economic expert George Shultz have also announced their support, praising the measure for its fiscal soundness and potential to boost California’s economy.
A complete list of endorsing organizations can be found on the campaign’s website, www.YesOn71.com.
Proposition 71 was developed by a coalition of California families and medical experts determined to close the stem cell research funding gap. Currently, our state has no effective mechanism to fund stem cell research and political roadblocks have severely limited federal funding for some of the most promising types of stem cell research.
More information on Prop can be obtained at www.YesOn71.com.